Football: Chargers aiming for bounce-back performance
The Brandon-Evansville football team is not in unfamiliar territory.
The Chargers lost 20-14 to Verndale in last Friday's season opener, the fourth straight year that B-E has fallen victim to the Pirates in week one. While it wasn't how they wanted to start the season, Brandon-Evansville quickly moved forward and moved on.
"We look at everything and move on, win or lose," Chargers head coach Tim Pattrin said. "Our goal is to be better each week, so no matter what happens, we look on to practice and the following game."
That means B-E has focused in on Hillcrest Lutheran Academy for tonight's matchup against the 0-1 Comets. HLA went 1-7 a year ago, but they were 10-2 in 2016 in a season that included a trip the Class 9-Man state tournament.
"Hillcrest has a wide-open offense, so we need to be assignment-sound on 'D,'" Pattrin said. "We need to be more physical in all aspects of our game if we want to have a good night."
Last week, Keagan Schiele led Brandon-Evansville with 7.0 tackles. Tanner Bitzan and Cade Carlson each had 6.5, and Sum Fuller had 6.0 with 1.5 tackles for loss.
Offensively, the B-E attack will be charged through Marshall Riedel. Against Verndale, Riedel rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns on 17 runs, good for a healthy 6.7 average. After sitting behind a couple of good backs in Jake Hintermeister and Taylor Bitzan a year ago, Riedel and others are ready for their chance to be staples in this offense.
"Marshall provides a lot of speed and he is very strong for his size," Pattrin said. "We have a nice stable of running backs right now and look forward to seeing each of them get better as the season goes on."
Schiele added 87 yards on 11 rushes against Verndale, as well as another 106 yards passing on a 7-for-20 performance through the air. Tanner Bitzan led the bunch with 70 receiving yards on four catches, while Fuller followed with 35 on two.
"We look to fix the mistakes we made last Friday," Pattrin said. "We need to block and tackle better. We need to be more aggressive on the O- and D-lines and we need to finish plays."
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. tonight, Friday, in Brandon for the Chargers' home opener.